I continue to work my way through Lorraine Heath’s catalogue filling my time with b-list historical romance. This novella belongs to the Lost Lords of Pembrook series which includes:
She Tempts the Duke – tortured hero, kind and loving heroine
Lord of Temptation – so much meh
Lord of Wicked Intentions – really good, great heroine
Deck the Halls with Love was a quick read even for a novella. Lord Chetwyn was jilted by Anne, the heroine of Lord of Temptation. Specifically, he consented to withdraw from their betrothal when it became clear that she was in love with someone else, establishing his nice guy bona fides. Their engagement was the result of honour and duty as Anne had been engaged to Chetwyn’s brother and said brother’s dying wish was for Chetwyn to look after Anne. With the broken betrothal behind him, Chetwyn now realises that he could likely have found other ways to have a care where Anne was concerned. So amicable was their parting that Chetwyn is at Anne’s in-laws for one of those Yuletide house parties people in historical romances love to hold. He is also anticipating a certain guest. While his sense of duty is a nice thing, Chetwyn had thrown over his own lady to become involved with Anne. Meredith, referred to as Merry in a nice Noel-y touch, was in love with Chetwyn and did not understand why she went from being almost affianced to alone on the dance floor. Merry will be at the party, but she is not free. Caught in the least compromising possible of compromising positions, she is engaged to a seemingly nice man with a bit of a gambling issue. Chetwyn is determined to win Merry back over the course of the Christmas fete. Anne helps. It doesn’t take long to establish that Chetwyn and Merry are compatible and need to force a break in her engagement to be together. The weather cooperates, honour prevails, and some expeditious shenanigans put them on track for scandal, but one they will endure while sharing a home.
Lorraine Heath is a successful author with a formula that works well for her. She is a cut above the workaday writers in the genre and a cut below the ones I normally recommend. I have read a large number of her books, but I have only ever paid for one. Deck the Halls with Love passed the time, but I will not delay returning it to the library in favour of more time with the characters, despite the fact that she managed to make them very likeable in very short order.
Also by Lorraine Heath:
As the Earl Desires